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Author Topic: Outlaw Country [Private]  (Read 136 times)

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Offline Glorilyss

Outlaw Country [Private]
« on: June 08, 2017, 01:34:46 PM »
If only there was another way.

Of course, there wasn't; that was why she was here. In the pre-dawn gloom, the slender, moonbeam shape almost seemed to disappear, as if her edges were indefinable and mixing with the air. For a moment, she felt vibrantly aware of everything around her, woven into a web of the noisy calls of birds and the strident hum of waking insects. She clutched at that sense of peace, mental fingers grasping at anything to keep her from what she was going to do.

The girl picked her way along the path with infinite care and not a little slowness. She was a pale ghost in the strengthening light, slimness whittled away to skinniness by hunger and increasing the illusion of a wraith trapped on earth. Her eyes, wide and blue amid the dirt-smudged moon of her face, could just see the outline of the sprawling city on the horizon, ink-black buildings etched in stark relief against a sky steadily shifting from pitch-dark to pearl. She had chosen a path that would not be much-used, but not completely abandoned; too many travelers was just as bad as none.

Keeping the river at her back, its whisper a soothing balm to the frayed ball of nerves lodged at the base of her spine, she scanned the bushes along the side of the path. She would need to pick a spot that would provide enough cover to hide the distinctive flash of pearly-blue hair, though the leaves and twigs that had gotten tangled into the strands over the course of her travels certainly helped. She took a short, sharp breath, then dropped to her hands and knees, crawling into the tight space beneath a tangle of brambles. Sharp spines raked against her cheek, drawing a thin line of red across her face, but she paid it little mind, merely wincing with the discomfort.

The shame in her stomach nearly drowned out the pangs of hunger - almost, but not quite. After all, that was why she was doing this. Nevermind what her father would have thought of the idea of his daughter stooping to highway banditry; if not for his - and everyone else in the tribe's - fanaticism, he would still be alive, and she would never have been reduced to the crawling, patched princess that she was. Shifting around so that she faced the way she had come and rocking back onto her heels, Ilayda clasped her arms around her knees, the picture of abject misery on her face so extreme that it would have been comical if it wasn't so genuine. She peered through a tiny chink in the brambles, watching the road from Arca, nerves slowly building until even the hunger took a backseat.

Now, all she had to do was wait.
take a [breath] and let the rest come e a s y
 -
.birdie.
.mariella.
.eira.
.ilayda.
.estelle.
.cybele.
.margaery.
.tanvi.
.maire.

Offline Whim

Re: Outlaw Country [Private]
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2017, 08:24:23 PM »
Kai had a bounce in his step as walked north to Arca from the farm of a reclusive and unpleasant alchemist. Thanks to the skinchanging brew he'd bought, a year's supply, the young man had opposable thumbs again! It wasn't a solution but he would be able to travel now - to Darken Vei - and maybe find some answers. A part of him was eager to find a tavern and trade smiles with pretty girls, or find some squires to spar with. But now that he was fixed the youth found himself in no rush. It was enough to enjoy the warmth of the sun, and the way the cool morning air gave him goose-pimples.

The Ora river was breathtaking this time of day. The sun was just enough you could see the a tangle of red, pink, and white willow trees reflecting back. Gods he hadn't swam in forever! And its not like there was anyone around, right? With that thought in mind Kai stalked off the old cobbled road and toward the riverbank. For just a moment he heard a twig snap, and some brambles rustle, but saw nothing. It was probably a rabbit. The boy set his pack down abehind a rock and began to strip, pausing only to admire his jawline, slender limbs, and a tangled auburn mane. He stuck his foot in, fighting the shiver...
Events:
The Midnight Harvest

Characters:
Ewan ap Rhys - Once a great sorcerer, now a small boy
Colby mac Arryn - Farm boy, prankster
Duke Blackthorn - Duke of Dawn and Dusk, Warden of Weal and Woe, and all-around evil faerie
Kai Wilding - Prince charming, also a donkey
Maergath - Professor of animancy and angry, hateful wizard
Narlis Thordane - Proud and unrepentant scumlord
Wylie Wyndham - Rebellious Lord, Daemonologist

Offline Glorilyss

Re: Outlaw Country [Private]
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2017, 02:13:26 PM »
Ilayda could hardly have believed her luck (or maybe not 'luck,' exactly). She had hardly been in the bushes for ten minutes, limbs steadily growing more and more cramped in their uncomfortable position. Desperate to relieve the ache in her calf, she had diverted her attention to the ground, sweeping aside a few fallen leaves and shifting her weight, and by the time she had returned her gaze to the path ahead of her, a thin stick figure appeared on the horizon. The nerves intensified in her belly, cramping even tighter than her protesting muscles, while a tongue of excited fire licked upwards within her chest. It was going to happen. It was really going to happen.

She watched the figure grow nearer, the indistinct edges solidifying into a man - a young man, really, his face seemed so impossibly young, though in actuality he was of an age with the fey girl. The sun glittered off of the copper crown of hair atop his head. She felt a conflicting mixture of feelings, halfway relieved that he wasn't some young mother or frail old man, but also curiously hesitant to carry out her plan. He was quite well made, at least for a human, and she'd hate to - but nevermind that. She had just begun to tense in preparation to fling herself from the bushes, but stilled herself even as the man did. He had stopped. And, with a self-conscious flush, she realized that he was shedding clothing like a tree shakes off leaves.

'Oh, Red Mother.' She felt her own blood burning beneath her skin, prickling all over as a combination of nervous sweat and intense discomfort wrapped around her like a smothering blanket. Not giving herself time to rethink her decisions, she crawled out of the bush as quickly as she could, brambles etching delicate lines of red tracery over her arms and face, grasping greedily at the sleeves of her dress. It slowed her down impossibly for a moment, but then she was free, scrambling across the path to the large stone she'd seen him leave his pack behind. She snatched up the straps, half-twisting and flinging one arm out as she did so. A sudden snake of water rose from the river's surface, arcing through the air to form a small sphere in her outstretched palm. "I'm so sorry!" Her voice was thin from disuse, but clearly apologetic, even at the small distance. "I wouldn't do this if I didn't have to. But you have to understand that - I do have to!" She began backing up warily, face a tragic mask of regret.

Worst. Thief. Ever.
take a [breath] and let the rest come e a s y
 -
.birdie.
.mariella.
.eira.
.ilayda.
.estelle.
.cybele.
.margaery.
.tanvi.
.maire.

Offline Whim

Re: Outlaw Country [Private]
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2017, 03:41:41 PM »
Kai had waded in up to his ankles, and was marveling at the feel of the cool water and smooth river-stones on his feet. Then came a rustle from the bushes. The squire whirled to see a young woman picking through his pack. It was hard to tell through the brambles, dirt, and torn clothing if it was a feral girl or curious forest spirit. Despite being ragged and dirty, her fair skin and delicate face showed through it all. It took Kai a moment of staring before he realized she was stealing from him, and threatening him with magic. She was just so polite about it, and being pretty didn't hurt.

If he were wearing his armor and clutching a sword, and standing in a sparring ring, Kai would've no doubt remember to raise a spell-shield, and bore down on her. Instead he sloshed toward the shore, waving his hands. "Don't go! I'll give you money, its fine, just leave the pack! Please!" A year's worth of potion was in there.

Their shouting and splashing, however, had drawn Carbos and his boys to the riverside. There were three of them; greasy young men in their teens, with patchy beards and armed with harpoons and boatknives. Hardly professional bandits, they liked to prey on lone rafters and rockworkers. The skinny youth and waifish girl looked equally appetizing.

"Ey there!" Carbos called out to Ilayda, tossing his blade in the air and catching it. A cocky, yellow grin was painted across his face. His two companions approached from up and downsream. "Awful heavy pack for such a pretty girl..."

Shit. Kai stood tensed at the water's edge, yanking a dagger from his belt. Four on one now? Or three on one on one?
Events:
The Midnight Harvest

Characters:
Ewan ap Rhys - Once a great sorcerer, now a small boy
Colby mac Arryn - Farm boy, prankster
Duke Blackthorn - Duke of Dawn and Dusk, Warden of Weal and Woe, and all-around evil faerie
Kai Wilding - Prince charming, also a donkey
Maergath - Professor of animancy and angry, hateful wizard
Narlis Thordane - Proud and unrepentant scumlord
Wylie Wyndham - Rebellious Lord, Daemonologist

Offline Glorilyss

Re: Outlaw Country [Private]
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2017, 03:57:04 PM »
Ilayda watched the auburn-haired youth whirl at her approach, and her entire body tensed, torn for a moment before the primal urge of fight or flight. She took a half-step back, gut clenching in a mixture of dismay and guilt, overlaid with a flurry of indecision. Should she take the pack, and ignore the boy? Money was what she was after, true, and he would have kept the money in the pack. On the other hand, if she let him get close enough to touch her...

Alarm won in the end, and she whipped around, feeling utter shame turn swiftly into outright panic. Three young men blocked the path she had been about to take, leering grins glutted with excitement for the fight and the prize before them. Of course, with the way Ilayda's life had been going, she should've expected an already bad situation to sour quickly, but these things always seemed to catch her unawares. 'Stupid.'

"This is mine!" Her voice was surprisingly bold, hot with the anger that she fueled instead of her distress. If she sounded scared, she'd be done for. She'd have to act like she knew what she was doing - at least long enough to get away. Shifting the straps and swinging the bag around her shoulder so that she clutched it one-armed against her stomach, Ilayda chanced a glance over her shoulder. The sight of the naked blade in the boy's hand sent a shiver of distaste dancing over her skin, and she whipped her head back around, flinging the hand that had cupped the sphere of water at the center thug, the one who had been doing the talking.

"Yours? See, I don't think so- hey!" Carbos's mocking voice cut off mid-sentence as he jerked to the side, a thin whip of water coiling snake-like around his wrist. Ilayda took a half-step back, forcing herself to focus as she jerked the hand controlling the water in an effort to yank the man off-balance. At the same time, she half-pivoted and threw herself forward, feet pounding the earth as she dashed off at an angle. She felt bad for leaving that boy there to deal with those thieves, but-

Her erstwhile escape was quickly cut off by the youth who had been standing on the right. She felt an implacable hand snake around her upper arm, dragging her off balance and twisting at the same time. Before she even had time to cry out, she felt herself pulled swiftly backward, until her back hit a chest made lean by hard work. Almost simultaneously, she felt the man's other arm move, and before she knew it, a line of fire pressed against her throat. Ilayda could only let out the faintest, breathy shriek, stomach heaving inside of her and the world spinning beyond her head. The scent of cold iron was unmistakable in her nostrils, the sucking, draining sense of it leaving her feeling like she was drowning. Even the river refused her summons as she grasped desperately at it, her magic shattered by a hand-me-down blade and a boy who couldn't even grow a mustache.

The fey girl rolled her eyes toward the young man she'd stolen from, face desperate and made shockingly more so the paler she went. She knew he was likely to leave her to her fate, but she twitched her hand anyways, eyes pleading for help even as she struggled and failed to reach out to him. She couldn't expect him to help her - there was no way he would, surely? - but hope was all she had left right now.
take a [breath] and let the rest come e a s y
 -
.birdie.
.mariella.
.eira.
.ilayda.
.estelle.
.cybele.
.margaery.
.tanvi.
.maire.

Offline Whim

Re: Outlaw Country [Private]
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2017, 03:39:15 PM »
“Got some potions in there. Not a worth a thing to you. Leave them and you won’t get a thrashing!” Kai called out, high and reedy voice not very intimidating at all. But maybe it wasn’t so bad after all. The one dock-rat had the would-be thief cornered.

But there were two bandits bearing down on him!  The squire rose to the balls of his feet and flicked his wrist; a second skin, made of some clay shell, seemed to envelop his body. His opponents weren’t anywhere near as fancy; most of their prey simply backed down. The Boatknife came first, lunging and chopping at the air. The squire parried the clumsy blows, and slashed at the bandit’s wrist. A squeal of pain erupted, buying time to drive a dagger beneath his ribs. Killing always happened fast without armor; muscle and skin offer some resistance but then the blade is in and it’s all over.

Carbos, one hand on his knife and the other about the strap, stood and watched with one eye still on Ilayda. His cocky grin turned into a frown as Orse died. For a moment it looked like he might leave the the fae and pack to save his friend. Instead, he gave her a swift kick and ran!

“Orse!” the Harpoon shouted, furious, and broke into a charge. Kai was turning face him when a sharp pain erupted from his leg. He gasped as stone-barrier crumbled, blood gushing from the wound. It might have been far worse. The Harpoon tried to bring his spear down again, but the squire got hold of the shaft, clinging on for dear life. They tussled until the youth fell on top of a dagger.

Kai gave the Harpoon several stabs for good measure before rolling on his side with a yelp. It was a good half-hour back to Arca, and that girl was still here! And where was his dagger? Where the hells was it!? He scuttled back, looking more like a frightened boy than any sort of fighter.
Events:
The Midnight Harvest

Characters:
Ewan ap Rhys - Once a great sorcerer, now a small boy
Colby mac Arryn - Farm boy, prankster
Duke Blackthorn - Duke of Dawn and Dusk, Warden of Weal and Woe, and all-around evil faerie
Kai Wilding - Prince charming, also a donkey
Maergath - Professor of animancy and angry, hateful wizard
Narlis Thordane - Proud and unrepentant scumlord
Wylie Wyndham - Rebellious Lord, Daemonologist

Offline Glorilyss

Re: Outlaw Country [Private]
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2017, 11:24:46 PM »
Ilayda was deeply nauseous and on the edge of unconsciousness when the vicious line of icy fire disappeared from her throat. She felt the arm that had encircled her disappear, replaced by an implacable hand in the small of her back and a violent shove that sent her spilling forward. The young girl didn't even have time to take the fall on her hands, crashing to the ground with a painful thunk and rolling heavily onto her side, eyes fluttering in a parody of butterfly wings as she struggled toward full awareness.

She hadn't seen most of the fight, but what she saw now was clearly one-sided. The boy from the river was clearly the winner, the early-morning sunlight tracing a line of fire along the blade in his hands and catching in the slick red sheen of blood. Ilayda watched his arm arc down, then up, then down again, each blow sounding distinct and yet somehow distant through the haze in her head. She forced herself to her hands and knees, the world tilting around her nauseatingly.

Had she had anything to eat that day, it would have come up; instead, only sickening bile burned along her throat, her stomach contracting rebelliously as wetness washed her face. The faerie girl realized quite suddenly that she was crying, dry-heaving and sobbing and fighting for air all at the same time.

After a few moments, when the sound of struggle from her right had died down and she could gulp greedy breaths of air, she lifted her eyes, red-rimmed but vividly blue against the bone-white pallor of her face. Ilayda raised her hand, the ragged hem of her sleeve swiping at her mouth, as she stared at the auburn-haired youth. Even with the blood of his struggle on him, he seemed somehow innocent, the frenzied panic on his face a direct contrast to the violence of a moment before. She dropped her eyes to the vivid gash along his leg, a mirror image of blood oozing along the neat line of his calf, and felt her heart constrict.

"You're hurt." She reacted without thinking, crawling forward rapidly on hands and knees until she was level with the boy. Moving by instinct, she extended her hands, letting them hover over the wound for only a fraction of a second before dropping them. Her fingers skimmed through the blood, the wetness as familiar to her as her own heartbeat, eyes sliding closed and what could only be described as her own awareness sinking deep into the torn tissue.

At first, it went according to plan; she could feel the body's eagerness, young and healthy as he was, eager to return to its previous state, the knit the edges of the gaping wound. But then she felt something change; underneath her palms, she felt the skin roughen, then... sprout fur? Shocked, Ilayda's eyes flew wide as she fell backwards, bright gaze fixed on the thoroughly equine leg in front of her. Her eyes flew to the boy's still-human face, a brilliant wealth of blank surprise giving way to horror at what she'd done. "Great Mother Goddess, what are you? What have I done?"
take a [breath] and let the rest come e a s y
 -
.birdie.
.mariella.
.eira.
.ilayda.
.estelle.
.cybele.
.margaery.
.tanvi.
.maire.

Offline Whim

Re: Outlaw Country [Private]
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2017, 12:24:26 AM »
"I don't have anything else..." Kai whispered in a small voice as Ilayda approached. The ragged girl hardly looked like a bandit at all, let alone some murderous vagabond intent on ending his life. The squire tried to roll away in protest when she touched his wound, but soon relaxed as her life-giving magic took effect. It felt wonderful even when it went horribly wrong.

Shit. When the fur came in Kai scuttled backwards with a frightened gasp. "Wait! Stop! I'm cursed and you're making it worse!" Mouth knit into a pout of annoyance the boy rose to his feet, pawing at the ground with his new hoof. It felt good! Gods that was a horrible thought. "I'd really rather not be a donkey, and that pack had a two year supply of a cure you know! What were you doing with it?"

To be honest it would've been stolen with or without her, but Kai was set on being cross. She was definitely fae, and he was expecting her to be hard to reason with.
Events:
The Midnight Harvest

Characters:
Ewan ap Rhys - Once a great sorcerer, now a small boy
Colby mac Arryn - Farm boy, prankster
Duke Blackthorn - Duke of Dawn and Dusk, Warden of Weal and Woe, and all-around evil faerie
Kai Wilding - Prince charming, also a donkey
Maergath - Professor of animancy and angry, hateful wizard
Narlis Thordane - Proud and unrepentant scumlord
Wylie Wyndham - Rebellious Lord, Daemonologist

Offline Glorilyss

Re: Outlaw Country [Private]
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2017, 07:56:34 PM »
The fae girl had to struggle with the inane and slightly hysterical urge not to burst into laughter at the sight of a boy with two legs (which was quite normal), one of which was the knobbly-kneed appendage of a... well, a donkey (which was not). The sight was so incongruous with the vivid bloodshed beside them and the overarching beauty of the day that she thought, for a brief moment, that she might snap.

Thankfully, the faerie didn't, though she did twist her head to the side, pressing her mouth hard against her shoulder while attempting to breathe deeply through her nose. She had always been deeply shocked by death itself, which typically provided a very strong incentive to heal quickly and effectively, and while she knew deep down that the youth had done what was necessary, it was quite different to know that and to see the effects.

So Ilayda was understandably a little unbalanced when the boy snapped at her. She had had a rough day, and the sun had barely even made much of an appearance. She hadn't had anything much to eat for what felt like years, she'd already had to break her moral code by stealing the boy's pack, she'd been threatened, manhandled, and nearly stabbed, and she was still utterly weak-limbed from the ghastly touch of iron against the sweep of her throat. She was not in the mood for pleasantries. She was not in the mood for much of anything but going to sleep and leaving the harshness of life for another day.

"I didn't want to steal it!" The girl's voice was much sharper than she'd intended it to be, harsh like a whip and filled with helpless frustration. "I just..." Her face was the rose-petal pink of deep embarrassment, and she wrung her hands together, looking anywhere but at the boy before her and the prone form at their side. "Look, I told you this earlier. I wouldn't have taken it if I hadn't had to. But I did." She dropped her eyes to her interlocking fingers again, looking utterly wretched, her knees still pressed into the dusty trail she'd chosen earlier. "I just needed a little help. Everything has changed, and I just wanted things to go back to the way they were." For someone who had been the heir to her Tribe's birthright, and a formidable healing in her own way, she looked utterly down. Head still bowed, she roughly brushed her arm across the backs of her eyes, catching the frustrated tears that had gathered there before they had a chance to fall, then took a deep breath, trying to put a brave face on the situation. "But that's besides the point. Why are you cursed?"
take a [breath] and let the rest come e a s y
 -
.birdie.
.mariella.
.eira.
.ilayda.
.estelle.
.cybele.
.margaery.
.tanvi.
.maire.

Offline Whim

Re: Outlaw Country [Private]
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2017, 11:29:38 PM »
"So you needed the money? I'd have given you some. Maybe. Its not as if work is hard to come by when you've got magic and a pretty face..."  Kai gave her a proper once over. It was hard to tell if her finery was tattered or some kind of wispy fae gown. His expression softened; the girl was in a bad way whatever she was. "Why are you out here like this? Are you on the run?"

The young man limped to a nearby boulder, needing to to tip-toe for his human leg to match his equine. He sat with a long sigh. Two hooves would probably be better at this point. "As for me, I'm Kai Wilding.

"My family is from Darken Vei. We were trying to banish ghosts from an old barrow. It woke up some old harvest god and he decided I should be pulling a plow all day," the boy squirmed, cheeks turning red. "As far as I know I really am a donkey. Those potions were supposed to keep me human..."
Events:
The Midnight Harvest

Characters:
Ewan ap Rhys - Once a great sorcerer, now a small boy
Colby mac Arryn - Farm boy, prankster
Duke Blackthorn - Duke of Dawn and Dusk, Warden of Weal and Woe, and all-around evil faerie
Kai Wilding - Prince charming, also a donkey
Maergath - Professor of animancy and angry, hateful wizard
Narlis Thordane - Proud and unrepentant scumlord
Wylie Wyndham - Rebellious Lord, Daemonologist

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